Technology will take UK higher

12th February 2010 at 00:00

I'd like to offer Becta's support for Charles Leadbeater's article ("Radical innovators are core to global success", January 22) and agree that, due to the innovative use of technology, the "global faith" of education is becoming a reality for people all over the world, regardless of social background.

Leadbeater highlights inspiring examples of how some social entrepreneurs have used technology to great effect around the world. We have inspiring examples at home, too. Some of the most exciting new models of learning can be seen in our colleges and training providers, and are examples of best practice that other countries can learn from.

Last month, as part of our Learning and Technology World Forum, ministers and delegates from around the globe met some of our exemplars to learn about how technology can benefit learning in this environment.

They saw the excellent work at London's City and Islington College, which has 225 teaching rooms equipped to a very high standard, with electronic student registration and the capacity to produce engaging presentations, virtual learning areas, and media-rich CD-ROMs and DVDs. The next step is to develop the "creative classroom" where learners and teachers can access multimedia equipment and create their own home-grown content for learning and assessment. City and Islington also has a student portal so that all its students can get alerts, contact their teachers, check their personal data (including progress) and access online services and learning centres.

This example is evidence of how this country is continually raising the aspirations of its education and skills system. City and Islington is a member of our Technology Exemplar Network, which brings colleges and providers together to share expertise and ensure that technology improves the life chances of students and benefits the economy.

The UK deservedly has a high international standing in educational technology. We welcome the Prime Minister's decision to appoint a task force led by David Puttnam to consider how we can develop further overseas opportunities. Technology in learning is not optional - by demonstrating expertise in this way, the UK is inspiring other countries and helping to improve student experiences on a global scale.

Stephen Crowne, Chief executive, Becta.

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